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25 Spots for the ultimate chilli poppers to spice up your week

Get your fix in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

23 Jun 2017

Cape Town

Yes HQ does offer more than their famous sirloin and skinny fries. They have an enticing tapas menu which includes their phyllo-wrapped chilli poppers, served with a salsa mayonnaise. Note, tapas are half price on Thursdays and feature other dishes like coconut calamari and Parmesan and truffle fries.

Panchos, Observatory
Panchos is an institution, famous for their frozen margaritas and reliably festive atmosphere. They serve up traditional Mexican  cuisine and Tex-Mex. Their affordable and simple grub, pulls regulars, with their chilli poppers being a firm favourite. They are stuffed with cheese, wrapped in a tortilla, deep-fried and served with guac and sour cream.

Taqueria (CBD) and El Burro (Green Point and Newlands)
Although these are different restaurants they are under the same ownership and therefore both serve their unique chilli rellenos. Unlike regular chilli poppers, they don't have a batter or casing, but rather the jalapeño is smoked and stuffed with queso fresco cheese, grilled and served with guacamole.

San Julian, De Waterkant
This rustic and authentic Mexican gem serves up some true classics and plays host to many special occasions. Try their poppers made from pickled jalapeños, filled with cream cheese and crumbed in homemade bread crumbs, and served with guacamole.

Da Vinci's, Gardens and Hartfield Village
Although this is predominantly an American-Italian joint, these guys make a mean chilli popper, and they can be ordered singularly. These are done the classic way, stuffed with cheese, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Get these half price on weekdays between 4:30pm and 6:30pm.

The Eatery Wood-fired Grill, Claremont
This eatery is themed around the ancient tradition of cooking over a wood fire. The warm interior provides an easy-going atmosphere and an ideal setting for a casual neighbourhood restaurant. The chilli poppers, here called 'Piggy Poppers', replacing the usual batter or pastry, for crispy bacon. They are filled with feta cheese and topped with cranberry sauce. 

Fat Cactus, Gardens, Woodstock and Mowbray
This Tex-Mex joint first opened back in 1998, and has been offering diners a good time, and affordable food ever since. Their chilli poppers are pretty famous in the Cape Town area, served in a crispy deep fried batter, stuffed with a mix of cheese and served with a side of salsa mayo for dipping.

It's raining ?? come for chilli poppers to celebrate #chillipoppers #fatcactus #mexicanfood

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Perron, Illovo
Perron is a bright, festive and modern Mexican joint that is perfect for family and friend gatherings or special occasions. The restaurant sits right in Illovo Junction, with seating that spills out onto the street. They serve classic chilli poppers, with pickled jalapeños and a thin crispy batter, served with roasted tomato salsa.

The Potato Shed, Newtown
This restaurant takes hip dining to new heights, carved out of an old heavily industrialised market shed, The Potato Shed ties up the raw space with sumptuous food, and refined decor. Their chilli poppers are a highlight on the menu that uses the fire as a central theme in its cooking. The coal fired poppers are made with home-smoked bacon, fresh coriander and pickled red onion.

La Santa Muerte, Melville
This is a drinking spot just as much as an eating one. La Santa Muerte is part biker bar, part Mexican eatery, with a grungy, Day of the Dead theme. Get involved in the chilli poppers, which consist of pickled jalapeños, stuffed with feta and white Cheddar, encased in a deep fried beer batter.

Chrispy cheesy spicy beer-battered goodness #jalapeñopoppers #lasantamuertemelville

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The Griffin, Illovo
The Griffin is your quintessential modern British-style pub, serving up classic comfort food and great cocktails. They serve traditional jalapeño poppers with sour cream and roasted tomato salsa.

Mama Mexicana, Maboneng
This easy-going eatery sits in the cool part of town, in an old industrial building with high-rise windows that allow much sunlight to trickle in, adding to the warming atmosphere. It's a great place to hangout and eat copious amounts of Mexican nibbles. The chilli poppers are done a little differently, with a roll made out of batter, stuffed with cheese and slices of jalapeños, and deep fried to a perfect crisp.

Baha Taco, Norwoord
This laid back Tex-Mex joint started out as a food truck operating at various markets and events. They serve up really tasty Mexican street food and their rustic space mimics a street scene that could be right out of Mexico City. Their chilli poppers are stuffed with cheese and beer-battered.

This place is best. @bahatacosa #mexicanfood #food #joburg #restaurant #norwood #ohsogood

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Four15 Burrito District, Durban North
This Burrito Bar captures the essence of Mexico's festive street food culture. The interior is adorned in colour and memorabilia. Four15 focuses on quality and authenticity in their food preparation and sourcing, making dishes from scratch. Their chilli poppers are made from pickled jalapeños, stuffed with a lime-infused three cheese filling, battered and deep fried, served with a  chilli-lime aoili sauce.

El Toro, Durban North
El Toro combines the Mexican and Latino culture of sharing food, hot food that is. These guys are big on chilli and a social, vibrant atmosphere. Their fiery chilli poppers are stuffed with cream cheese, and coated in a light, airy batter, served with guacamole.

Taco Zulu, Florida Road
Taco Zulu is a vibey little spot that hosts many DJ nights, attracting a young crowd of diners and bar hoppers each week. They constantly have specials, and they combine a mix of Mexican food, sushi, and other favourites like pizzas and burgers. Their jalapeño poppers, are made the traditional way, in a crispy, breadcrumb batter.

Havana Grill, North Beach
Havana Grill is a popular steakhouse offering an upmarket dining experience, and panoramic views of Durban's coast line. Although their grass-fed steaks are their specialty, many will be familiar with their moreish chilli poppers. These are made the traditional way, in a breadcrumb, crispy coating.


Culture Club Bar de Tapas, Hazelwood
Culture Club is a place where you cannot refuse to share, so make sure you order enough of their bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers! This stylish eatery flows perfectly between the inside bar area and spacious outside deck, with raw, industrial finishes. The menu is inspired by cuisines across the globe and consists of tapas sized plates and sharing platters and boards.

Brooklyn Brothers, Lynnwood
Brooklyn Brothers bring New York's Brooklyn to the Pretoria area, inspired by the New York modern day diner, where locals are the bread and butter, and food is good for the soul. You'll want to forget your diet at the door. The jalapeño poppers are stuffed with feta, Mozzarella and cream cheese, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried.

What does a nosey pepper do?? It get's jalapeño business! #BrooklynBrothers #jalapeno #jalapenopoppers

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Jo Mexican, Garsfontein
Jo Mexican takes diners on a cute and colourful dining experience. The setting is unpretentious and full of character with splashes of bright reds, oranges and blues, making sure its always cheerful. The jalapeño poppers are stuffed with cream cheese and crumbed, served with a cofit tomato and sour cream.

Lucky Rodrigo, Lynnwood
Lucky Rodrigo is a hip diner come bar, always offering a laid-back and reliable good vibe to Pretoria locals. Locals hangout here for hours, sipping beers and indulging in American classics. The jalapeño poppers are made in a spring roll style, wrapped in phyllo pastry and stuffed with feta and Mozzarella, then deep fried and served with an Asian dipping sauce and chips.

El Pistolero, Constantia Park
A proper Mexican joint, embracing bold, traditional flavours and serving up creative and colourful dishes. El Pistolero combines a contemporary approach with authenticity and respect for Mexican cuisine. Their deep fried jalapeño poppers are filled with cream cheese, white Cheddar and Parmesan.

Jalapeño poppers

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Port Elizabeth

Something Good, Summerstrand
A classic roadhouse that is perfect for families with it's surrounding lawn for the kids to play. Something Good captures the essence of PE's seaside holiday feel, serving up good ol' comfort classics. They serve classic chilli poppers with cheese and a side of sweet tomato relish. 

Chingada's, Walmer
A down-to-earth Mexican eatery with all those tasty Tex-Mex specialities. Chingadas thrives on a warm, festive atmosphere and traditional Mexican methods. They serve traditional battered jalapeños with a lime tartar sauce. 

Todos Locos, Richmond Hill
This is an authentic Spanish paella and pinchos bar, with dishes created for sharing, made from only the freshest and superior quality ingredients. Their jalapeño poppers are stuffed with cheese and chorizo and served with tomato salsa and tzatziki, with a vegetarian option too. 

Where do you get your chilli popper fix? Let us know in the comments section below!

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